For today’s installment of the Uber Driver Diaries, I want to pose a question: what responsibility do Uber drivers have to help drunk (or otherwise impaired) riders? Let’s start with some stories.
A Rider Passes Out in the Back Seat
On my first or second night of driving for Uber, I had a pickup at a hotel off El Paso’s I-10. When I arrived, the rider was being yanked out of a car by another woman – I’m assuming her mom. She’d already entered the drop-off address and made all the arrangements, which was fortunate. Because as soon as we left the hotel parking lot, this girl was passed out in my backseat.
As we drove toward the far east side – a good 30-minute drive – she fell deeper into her drunken slumber. She woke up a couple times to look around, but otherwise, she was out. I turned up my music and cranked the A/C hoping she wouldn’t throw up.
Her phone continued to ring continuously for most of the trip, but she never woke up or checked it. By the time we got to her place, she was so out of it that it took me 10 minutes to wake her up.
For those of you who don’t know, Uber charges about $0.10 a minute when the car isn’t in motion. After their cut, this means I was making $0.08 a minute to wake this girl up.
When I finally got her to wake up, she could barely stand. She just kind of stared at me. I asked her if she was okay. She burped and giggled. As she turned to walk away, she almost toppled to the ground from her perch atop 6-inch heels. I asked if she needed any help getting to her door. She burped and giggled again.
This was about the time that I called it a night. I asked myself whether this was really what I’d signed up for.
The Good Samaritans
I try to be a good person and help people who seem to need assistance. By that, I mean I could always use a good adventure to shake up the mundane nature of day-to-day life.
So at one point, when Jessica and I got off our shifts, we spent about an hour saving a guy from dying in his car. But I’d rather let you listen.
What If He Breaks His Neck?
This weekend was a rough one for me. I’m in dire need of money, so the idea of canceling trips or going offline during bar hours means not being able to pay for my car.
(Isn’t it ironic that driving for Uber means working for less than minimum wage to pay for a business necessity that’s also the number one symbol of freedom?)
One of my final pick-ups one evening was a very enthusiastically drunk gentleman who stumbled his way across the parking lot.
“Are youber?” he asked.
“Yep,” I said. Fuckin’ a.
“Cool,” he said. He then stood and stared at me for a good 10 seconds before his brain clicked his next action into place.
He toppled into my backseat (Why do the drunks always go for the backseat? I can’t keep an eye on you there!). As always, I confirmed his drop-off location. He told me a different address. I typed it into the GPS and we were on our way.
He then gave me turn-by-turn directions that led me well off course and then promptly passed out after each command. Hi, drunk people. If you’re going to contradict the GPS and tell me your alternate route, I expect you to stay conscious for the remainder of the trip at the bare minimum.
He also passed out mid-turn a couple times, which meant I kept wincing as I heard his skull cracking into my door and back window. That meant he was hurting the one thing I truly care about in this world: my car.
Eventually, we made it to his place. As he was getting out, he kept digging in his pocket shaking around change. I thought maybe he was going to tip me. Nope. He was looking for his phone.
“We havdo gobeck,” he said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Ikin fine my phone,” he said.
“It’s in your hand.”
“Fuck,” he responded, as he lost control of his basic ability to stand up and fell backward. He braced himself by grabbing my door frame. Fuck you, bro.
I watched him stumble the 10 feet from my car to the stairs leading up to his apartment. Then I watched him perform an admirable balancing act as he tried to walk up his stairs while leaning backward at a 45-degree angle and never once touching the handrail.
As I imagined him toppling to his death, all I could wonder is whether I’d have to bury the body to get a five-star rating.
Are you interested in driving for Uber? Feel free to sign up to be a driver! If you sign up with the referral code Q66KKR5HUE, you will get a bonus for signing up after you complete your training trips. I also get a bonus, so I don’t have to do it quite as much.
If you’re interested in reading more of these entries, make sure you leave a comment down below letting me know to keep publishing them – there will be plenty more drunk Uber passenger stories to come. And if you’re not interested in reading more of the Uber Driver Diaries, then you’re a terrible person. Check the box below the comments to subscribe to this blog via email to get notified every time I post an update! Or you can follow this blog at Bloglovin’!